Artificial Intelligence and Law

, Volume 12, Issue 1–2, pp 83–110 | Cite as

Good faith and fair dealing in contracts formed and performed by electronic agents

Abstract

The development of electronic agents that increasingly play an active role in the contract formation and execution process has highlighted the need for the creation of law-abiding autonomous agent systems. The principle of good faith is an important guideline for contractual behaviour which permeates civil law systems. This paper examines how this principle is applied both during the negotiation of a contract and during its performance. Selected examples from civil law literature of precontractual duties of good faith, and of precontractual behaviour that is deemed to be contrary to good faith, are discussed. This is followed by a discussion of the extent to which such duties are recognised, or such behaviour proscribed, in common law jurisdictions. Some common standards for precontractual behaviour in civil and common law systems are identified. There is then a parallel analysis of the principle of good faith in contract performance with a view to identifying common traits or standards between civil and common law systems. These standards, in the situation where contracts are being negotiated and/or performed by or through electronic agents, would need to be reflected in the way such agents operate.

Keywords

autonomous agents contract formation contract performance electronic agents fair dealing good faith 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Beale, H. G. eds. 1999Chitty on Contracts - Vol. 1: General Principles28Sweet & MaxwellLondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Craig, R. 1992Norsk-Engelsk Juridisk Ordbok: KontraktsrettUniversitetsforlagetOsloGoogle Scholar
  3. Cohen, N. 1995

    Pre-contractual Duties: Two Freedoms and the Contract to Negotiate.

    Beatson, J.Friedmann, D. eds. Good Faith and Fault in Contract LawClarendon PressOxford2556
    Google Scholar
  4. Fabre-Magnan, M. 1995

    Duties of Disclosure and French Contract Law: Contribution to an Economic Analysis.

    Beatson, J.Friedmann, D. eds. Good Faith and Fault in Contract LawClarendon PressOxford99120
    Google Scholar
  5. Falkanger, Å. T. 1999God Tro: En Studie av Kravet Til God Tro Som Vilkår for å Erverve Eller Opprettholde Privatrettslige RettigheterUniversitetsforlagetOsloGoogle Scholar
  6. Forrester, I. S., Goren, S. L., and Ilgen, H. M. (1975). The German Civil Code. Excerpts available at http://www.hull.ac.uk/php/lastcb/bgbengl.htm Accessed July 17, 2004.Google Scholar
  7. Furmston, M., Norisada, T., Poole, J. 1998Contract Formation and Letters of IntentWiley and SonsChichesterGoogle Scholar
  8. Furmston, M. 2001Cheshire, Fifoot and Furmston’s Law of Contract14ButterworthsLondonGoogle Scholar
  9. Galgano, F. 1985Diritto Privato, 3rd edn., CEDAM–Casa Editrice DottAntonio MilaniPadovaGoogle Scholar
  10. Graver, H. P. (2003). The Approach to European Law in Norwegian Legal Doctrine–ARENA Working Paper 18/03 available at http://www.arena.uio.no/publications/wp03_18.pdf Accessed July 17, 2004.Google Scholar
  11. Hov, J. 2002Avtaleslutning og ugyldighet: Kontraktsrett I3PapinianOsloGoogle Scholar
  12. Harrison, R. 1997Good Faith in SalesSweet & MaxwellLondonGoogle Scholar
  13. Karnow, C. E. A. 1997Future Codes: Essays in Advanced Computer Technology and LawSweet & MaxwellBoston/LondonGoogle Scholar
  14. Kessler, F., Fine, E. 1964Culpa in contrahendo, Bargaining in Good Faith and Freedom of Contract: A Comparative StudyHarvard Law Review77401449Google Scholar
  15. Lando, O., Beale, H. 2000Principles of European Contract Law–Parts I and II Combined and RevisedKluwer Law InternationalThe Hague, London, BostonGoogle Scholar
  16. Lerouge, J. F. 2000The use of electronic agents questioned under contractual law: Suggested solutions on a European and American LevelThe John Marshall Journal of Computer & Information Law,18403433Google Scholar
  17. Levanti, S. Abuso del Diritto. Diritto e Diritti, June 2001, at http://www.diritto.it/articoli/civile/levanti.html Accessed July 17, 2004.Google Scholar
  18. Lillebakken, F. The Norwegian Legal system: A Brief Introduction, available at http://www.jur.uib.no/Studier/Utland/English/ECTS/LEGAL.HTM Accessed July 17, 2004.Google Scholar
  19. O’Connor, J.F. 1990Good Faith in English LawDarthmouthAldershotGoogle Scholar
  20. Russell, S. J., Norvig, P. 1995Artificial Intelligence: A modern approachPrentice-HallNew JerseyMATHGoogle Scholar
  21. Sartor, G. 2003

    Cognitive Automata and the Law

    Bing, J.Sartor, G. eds. The Law of Electronic AgentsNRCCLOslo67113Complex Nr 4/2003.
    Google Scholar
  22. Steyn, L. J. 1997Contract Law: Fulfilling the Reasonable Expectations of Honest MenL.Q.R.113433442Google Scholar
  23. Stuurman, K., Wijnands, H. 2001Intelligent Agents: A Curse or a Blessing? A Survey of the Legal Aspects of the Application of Intelligent Software Systems.Computer Law and Security Report1792100Google Scholar
  24. Geoffrey Thomas, G. and Dannemann, G. (2002). German Civil Code - Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch–selected translations, available at http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/BGB.htm#b2s3 Accessed July 17, 2004.Google Scholar
  25. UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial contracts (1994). International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), Rome, available at http://www.jus.uio.no/lm/unidroit.contract.principles.1994/doc.html Accessed July 17, 2004.Google Scholar
  26. Weill, A., Terré, F. 1986Droit Civil: Les Obligations4DallozParisGoogle Scholar
  27. Weitzenböck, E. (2002a). Good Faith and Fair Dealing in the Context of Contract Formation by Electronic Agents. In Proceedings of The AISB 2002 Symposium on Intelligent Agents in Virtual Markets, 2–5 April 2002, Imperial College London.Google Scholar
  28. Weitzenböck, E. (2002b). Electronic Agents and Contract Performance: Good Faith and Fair Dealing. In The Law of Electronic Agents: Selected Revised Papers, LEA Workshop on the Law of Electronic Agents, 67–73. CIRSFID (Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca in Storia del Diritto, Filosofia e Sociologia del Diritto e Informatica Giuridica), University of Bologna: Bologna. Google Scholar
  29. Whittaker, S., Zimmermann, R. 2000a

    Good faith in European Contract Law: Surveying the Legal Landscape.

    Zimmermann, R.Whittaker, S. eds. Good Faith in European Contract LawCambridge University PressCambridge762
    Google Scholar
  30. Whittaker, S., Zimmermann, R. 2000b

    Coming to terms with good faith.

    Zimmermann, R.Whittaker, S. eds. Good Faith in European Contract LawCambridge University PressCambridge653701
    Google Scholar
  31. Wooldridge, M., Jennings, N. 1995Intelligent Agents: Theory and PracticeKnowledge Engineering Review10115152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zweigert, K., Kötz, H. 1998Introduction to Comparative LawClarendon PressOxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law, Faculty of LawUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations